Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"Teach us to number our days … "

Day #214:  Daily Bible Reading Plan - July 30th

Scripture Reading:  Psalms 90 - 92 …

When you understand that "with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day" (II Peter 3:8), you learn to look at the big picture as you live one day at a time.  That may seem to be contradictory, but in reality it makes perfect sense.  Let me explain:  one day, one 24-hour period, is like a thousand years to God … AND a thousand years is like one day to God.  That means that God is not confined to time like we are.  He sees the end from the beginning and the beginning from the end.  As you and I live in time we see God's one plan unfolding over a period of a few thousand years … God sees it unfolding just as He has planned and is intimately involved in every day, every step, every detail.  The consequence is that every day is important precisely BECAUSE it is part of the bigger picture of God's plan.  It's all connected.  The past affects what goes on today, and what goes on today affects the future … and God knows it ALL!!!

Moses understood that as he wrote Psalm 90.  He begins with a testimony of faith:  "Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.  Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting YOU are God" (90:1-2).  And in verse 12 he writes, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."  Every day belongs to God and using it to praise Him, to serve Him, to glorify Him makes every day important.  Moses lived among a people who were experiencing God's wrath and judgment.  He said, "All our days pass away under Your wrath; we finish our years with a moan" (90:9).  Such is the lot of mankind.

We live in a world so deeply affected by mankind's sin and God's judgment against it that our only hope is in the everlasting God that Moses knew and that we know today through Jesus.  The Apostle Paul wrote of this hope to the Romans in Chapter 8, verses 22-25: "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what he already has?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

Your hope needs to be in the everlasting God who never changes.  People look for joy and satisfaction in the things of the world apart from God, but they can never satisfy.  "Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad ALL our days!"  (90:14).  God is willing and able to give you all you need as you live one day at a time in His presence and for His glory.  And it is so beautiful when people live this way.  "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the LORD, 'HE is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust'" (91:1-2).  The Psalmist then goes on to explain that "He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge" (91:4).

I have used those verses to offer comfort and peace to countless people as they enter into the hospital for surgery or treatment of one kind or another ... or when they face the death of a loved one or a trial that seems impossible to bear.  You find rest and peace under the shadow of His wings.  He watches over those who trust in Him, He cares for you, He loves you, He is with you and He will never leave you or forsake you ... EVER!!!  I love the pictures the Psalm-writer gives:  "A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.  You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked" (91:7-8).  Such is the promise of God to those who know and trust Him through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

"If you make the Most High your dwelling - even the LORD, who is MY refuge - then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent" (91:9-10).   "'Because he loves me,' says the LORD, 'I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation!" (91:14-16).  God's love never fails those who know, love and trust Him.  And so, "It is good to praise the LORD and make music to Your name, O Most High ... to proclaim Your love in the morning and Your faithfulness at night ..." (92:1-2).

How do you live your life day by day?  Are you trusting in the everlasting God, finding your joy and satisfaction in Him as you rest under the shadow of His wings and praise Him for His unfailing love?  The world may think it foolish to believe in a God we cannot see, but the truth is "the senseless man does not know, fools do not understand. ... But YOU, O LORD, are exalted forever!" (92:6,8).  In a thousand different ways, God blesses those who know and trust Him.  Each day ... each day you live is important when you understand the big picture ... that God is at work in the world AND in your life.  As you confess Jesus as Savior and Lord you can rest assured that God knows you and that you are here, now, for His purposes.

Believe Him, trust Him, seek Him and learn to number your days, knowing that each one is like a thousand years to the Lord and in HIM your life finds meaning.  "O Lord, our God, teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom!"

"My Father and my God, I believe that You alone are the everlasting God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth.  I find my hope, my satisfaction and my joy in You.  Help me to trust You in the things I don't understand and to rest under the shadow of Your wings, serving You day by day as I rejoice in Your faithfulness!  In Jesus' name, Amen" 

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